Pocius, Gerald L. (1975) The place of burial : spatial focus of contact of the living with the dead in eastern areas of the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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The appearance of death in many cultures is met by a series of rituals which removes the dead gradually from a community, lessening the social and psychological disruptiveness of death. After burial, the dead are still considered a part of the community by the living, and at the place of burial the living can express their desire to maintain contact with them through artifactual and customary displays. -- Through the use of material in the Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive, questionnaires and extensive field work in two selected regions of the Avalon Peninsula of eastern Newfoundland, the customary and artifactual contact of the living with the dead is recorded and studied here both synchronically and diachronically. -- During the period of early Newfoundland settlement, the living were able to choose the form of contact with the dead at the place of burial. The location of the place of burial in the community and its physical features were all determined by local traditions. -- With the arrival of clergymen in the early 1800’s, most of the channels of contact became institutionalized, and strict guidelines were followed. The location of new cemeteries and the orientation of the grave with respect to the cardinal points of the compass were dictated by the church. Professionally-carved gravestones, which were rare before 1800 and were manufactured in England and Ireland, were now increasingly used, and their designs were determined by external specialists. The custom of decorating the surface of the grave, however, was not institutionalized in Newfoundland, and remains today one of the only viable channels through which the living can express their desire to maintain contact with the dead, thus lessening the social and psychological disruption at death.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves -488.|
|Department(s):||Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore|
|Geographic Location:||Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||Burial; Cemeteries--Newfoundland and Labrador|
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